Monetizing Ecosystem Services: A Discourse Analysis

Ida Jaganjac

Student thesis: Master thesis


Background. Given the contemporary ecological crisis, more and more companies are engaging in corporate social responsibility to combat their environmental pollution. The German sports retailer Puma can be considered a pioneer within this domain, as it introduced a revolutionary way of accounting for its externalities through the pricing of ecosystem services. Aims. The aim of this paper is to investigate what value the environmental profit and loss account brought to the company. It further seeks to challenge the underlying assumptions behind pricing and numbers in order to break the stigma that numbers are always a true reflection of the value of a certain object. Methods. An explorative case study has been carried out to give a detailed account of value is constituted for Puma by the environmental profit and loss account. To gain holistic and detailed knowledge of the case a discourse analysis was employed to investigating the underlying assumptions in the report. This was done under the realm of constructivism and abduction. Findings. Even though Puma states that the environmental profit and loss account is aimed to reduce environmental impact, empirical evidence showed otherwise. A thorough investigation of the environmental profit and loss account reveals that Puma employs the report to gain a multifaceted competitive advantage, as the EP&L functions as differentiation strategy and eco-marketing tool.

EducationsMSc in Business, Language and Culture - Business and Development Studies, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages46